Fact or Fiction?
by Jeff Colombria
But before you enjoy that next beer take a minute to think about
some of those old sayings about drinking. Do you believe that you
should drink liquor before beer to avoid getting sick? When you're
feeling health-conscious do you choose red wine over beer? Is a pot of
coffee and a fast-food burger and fries still your preferred method of
Many of us either consciously or unconsciously follow "rules" like those
never really questioning their effectiveness or the science behind them.
As the new year begins it's finally time to find out if they are fact or
Let's start with the adage "liquor before beer". You probably heard
someone tell you, more than once, that "liquor before beer never fear;
beer before liquor, never sicker" and then took it to be the gospel
truth. Sorry, that one is bogus. There is absolutely no scientific
evidence that drinking in a particular order alters how sick you get if
you over indulge.
Some research does suggest that the body absorbs carbonated
drinks, such as a gin and tonic, more quickly than still beverages. It's
also possible that drinking beer over some mixed drinks on an empty
stomach might slow your intoxication. Also, it takes longer for the
body to absorb a 12-ounce glass versus a 1.5-ounce cocktail, its
equivalent in terms of absolute alcohol. But ultimately, it's the amount
you drink and your pace that will determine how you feel, not the
order in which you do it.
We've all heard red wine may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
thanks to resveratrol, a substance found in the skin of grapes. But did
you know beer may be good for you, too? When consumed in
moderation — in other words one 12-ounce glass a day for women
and two for men (our legal guys made me put that in)— research has
shown that beer will have the same effect, especially darker brews.
Plus beer may be associated with other significant health benefits not
found in wine.
Who hasn't said something stupid after having a few too many? But if
you believe the old Latin saying in vino veritas, or "truth in wine," you
might think those drunken comments reflect a person's real feelings.
It is true, not false, that alcohol lowers people's inhibitions and might
lead to doing things one might not otherwise do. So the belief that
beer can lead to saying things you might not want heard is a fact.
What about eating after drinking? Conventional wisdom (and your
stomach) say it's the right thing to do. Well, eating after a few
drinks, is a good way of sobering up. Any food you put in your
stomach will slow your body's absorption of alcohol. Note that solid
food works better than liquid foods, like soup, and carbs and high-
protein foods may be a better choice than fatty foods. Having a
hearty meal before drinking, or eating and drinking at the same time,
also can help prevent you from getting sick.
Lastly let's examine the time-honored way of helping someone sober
up which is filling them with coffee and giving them a cold shower. Not
at all true; those techniques are likely to create a cold and alert drunk.
While research has shown that caffeine can counteract some of the
effects of alcohol in terms of a handful of cognitive tasks, a person's
reaction time is still going to be slower than normal. Giving a drunken
person a cold shower is a bad idea because alcohol is already reducing
their body temperature.
The one thing that always helps alcohol get out of the system is time.
Thanks to Bob for giving me the opportunity to write this month's
column. I hope it helped a few people out.
|BeerNexus proudly presents
"the ombudsman of beer"
Bob and Friends Speak of Beer......
|Thanks to Jeff for writing this month's column and
setting the record straight on a few myths that never
seem to go away.Your submissions are encouraged -
just send them to me here at BeerNexus.com
See you next time to
"speak about beer".
|Read more by
Bob and Friends
for the complete index
Drink at the Bar, Not at Home
Big Beer Responds
Beer Goes With Salad Too
Bad Beer is Bad Beer
In (Semi) Praise of
Buena Cerveza de Mexico
Spices in Beer?
Try It, You'll Like It!
Trappist Tuesdays and Other
In Defense of Beer
Beer for Dessert
What I Drank On My Summer
Pairing Food & Beer
A Bit of Beer History
Beer Code Secrets
Comeback for Beer In Cans
Hold the Coffee,
I'll Have a Beer
Beer and Summer
Think Belgium, Think Beer..... and
Count Me Converted
Sad Things Across
Make Mine Organic
Ancient Beers Return
How Low Can They Go?
Finally Beer is Back
|Want to be a "friend of Bob" and write a guest
column? Just e-mail your article to Bob HERE.